of identity and its loss

A recent post of mine which was a simple chapeau bas to true Indian led to a rabid diatribe on St V day and Indianess. The commentator says:.. this Indian identity includes, as an essential character, not celebrating a festival of the type that Valentines day really is.

I will not waste any one's time in defending St V's day but look at the deeper meaning of such a reaction which comes from an educated Indian. First of all I wonder whether an issue like V day deserves all the attention it gets, when there are so many ills that plague this country and need to be addressed by any self respecting Indian. To name just one we are a land where millions of children sleep hungry while thousands of others waste food.

It is sad to see that our politicians and law makers find time to waste their energy and time on such trivia where they could maybe for once forget their differences and address such basic issues like giving to every Indian child what was promised in our constitution.

Why can we not look at V day as one more day that will give the flower seller a few more rupees. And forget V day, over the years religious festivals too have been exploited - if that is the word one likes to chose - in a analogous manner. Many years ago rakhsa bhandhan or such festivals were celebrated without cards and fancy rakhis. I still remember when we use to make ours at home with a simple thread! Today everything is commercialised and there are even websites which allow you in-house pilgrimage and allow you to worship your God in the comfort of your home! So if there has to be a litany of protest let it be against everything that has been commercialised.

V day does not have to be simply viewed as a illicit boy-girl affair but can also be looked at as a day of acknowledging love in its wider form and that exactly what my post was about.

The Indians in India must retain their identity says the commentator and I agree. But our identity lies in celebrating our ability to accept and reach out, our ability to bridge the now frightening gap between the have and have nots, in our ability to celebrate tolerance and reach out to those in need.

Amit Bhaiyya did just that!